To consider the report of the Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance (copy enclosed).
The Committee considered the report of the Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance that updated Members on the S106 monitoring processes and sought Members endorsement for the continuing and effective management of the Council’s S106 responsibilities.
The Chairman introduced the item and deferred to the Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance to present the detail. He took the Committee through the report that highlighted events from the last half year which had been one of peaks and troughs in terms of S106 income flows. The winter season and disruptions to the building industry from Covid, coupled with the desire to pace S106 payments in a manner which remained in step with receipts from house sales had resulted in receipts being more disjointed than in other years. The S106 Officer together with planning officers will be undertaking site visits during June/July 2021 to redress the Council’s understanding of what is happening on the ground and consider whether further payments have been triggered but not paid.
While the income stream had been disrupted the S106 Officer had maintained pressure on both the NHS, other council departments and partners to make sure that the expenditure deadlines were not missed. A letter was recently sent to the NHS Clinical Commissioning Group and it had recognised the urgency to get the anticipated improvements to their services around the district completed, as more homes are built. It was aware of the Council’s keenly felt desire to avoid developer funding being returned through a lack of expenditure within legal deadlines. Since the report was written the NHS had increased its capacity around planning to ensure delivery on that infrastructure.
Similarly, following the new LDP Review Strategic Liaison Group meeting with ECC Team Leads from Planning, Education, Highways and Flood Risk further updates had been requested concerning Education and Highways infrastructure payments. The Council had encouraged a more proactive approach on information sharing across all authorities, including more regular updates on projects that were funded from monies collected by Maldon District Council S106.
In a move for more transparency the Council had published the S106 spreadsheet online, this should reduce the number of Freedom of Information (FOI) enquiries and help broaden understanding of what was secured through developments in the district and when it was due to be paid.
The Chairman moved the recommendations in the report and they were seconded by Councillor Jarvis.
In response to questions raised by the Committee, Officers responded as follows:-
- That specific requests around access to grants be emailed to Officers who will reply in writing.
- That information on how long the sums to support various health projects have been held by the Council would be circulated to Members.
- That the issue of delays at GP Surgeries was a national problem exacerbated by Covid.
- That NHS progress on plans for the delivery of a medical centre at Southminster would be circulated to Dengie Members in the next couple of weeks.
There being no further questions the Chairman put the recommendations to the Committee and they were agreed by assent.
(i) That Members reviewed the information in this report and appendix 1;
(ii) That Members confirm they are assured that S106 is being managed effectively.